By Lori Borgman
Just when you thought the world couldn’t get any crazier, Mom Jeans make a comeback.
Mom Jeans were a staple of the ’80s — cinched at a high waistline, generous in the thighs, a broad backside and lots of pleats and tucks on the tummy for room to expand.
Think Debra from the early years of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
Think Humpty Dumpty finding relaxed fit at the Gap.
Mom Jeans said, “If you want the breadsticks with cheese, go ahead and get the breadsticks with cheese!”
Mom Jeans were old-school denim that predated Spandex. They had absolutely no give. Bending over in all-cotton heavy denim that cut deep at the waist rendered many a woman unconscious.
Mom Jeans were a friend to no one, but they provided ample coverage — like an ill-fitting tarp.
Eventually, Mom Jeans were mocked, ridiculed, shamed and replaced by a new denim with stretch and a new design. Meet the skinny jean.
Skinny jeans brought with them an entirely different silhouette — women who looked like praying mantises — stick legs protruding from long flowing shirts and roomy tunics.
The youth culture propelled the skinny jeans to a long stretch (pun intended) of popularity. And now the youth have turned on their own. All the cool, hip stores courting teens and early 20-somethings are touting Mom Jeans.
American Eagle touts Mom Jeans claiming, “She’s never been more right about anything than she was about this fit.” One can only assume the copywriter was not alive during the ’80s. But it’s always good to get credit for something.
Many of the new Mom Jeans are shredded at the knees. One retailer describes it as, “The beauty is in the breakdown: Destruction at the knees.”
They got it wrong. There’s never beauty in the breakdown of a mom in jeans. And the destruction is not in the knees, it’s in the wee hours of the morning, when the baby won’t sleep. Destruction is in front of the washing machine when you’re putting in a load of sheets somebody puked on, or in the grocery unable to focus because three kids are hanging onto or out of your cart.
The AE model wearing the Mom Jeans looks amazing. The caption says she’s 5-foot-1” (more like 6-6 in the stilettos), has a 24-inch waist and wears a size 2 X-Long. If this woman has borne children, she’s a walking miracle.
Trendsetters call them Mom Jeans, but there has never really, truly been a Mom Jean. Authentic Mom Jeans would come with carabineers strapped to the belt loops — one for holding anti-bacterial hand gel and another for pacifiers.
They’d have two generous back pockets, one for a cellphone and one for a wallet. They’d also have Velcro tabs on each side, one to hold a small packet of wipes and diapers and the other for Goldfish and Cheerios.
True Mom Jeans would make women look like human diaper bags.
There’s not a designer alive who would want to have credit for that line of jeans and not a young person alive who’d want to be caught dead in a pair.
Lori Borgman is an Indianapolis columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.